Visiting Northern England: 7 Things to Do in Newcastle upon Tyne.

If you have heard the name Newcastle, you most likely know it as the little city defined as the Party Capital of England. With a variety of clubs, pubs and boozy brunch spots, there may be some truth in this saying. While Newcastle may be a great place for a night out and a busy social life, Newcastle offers several attractions that you should come and see if you are planning on visiting the UK or coming up North (if you are already here in the UK). While I know Newcastle can be infamous, there is more to meet the eye and opportunities to fall in love with this friendly, bonny, city.

1. Quayside

The quayside is where you will find the famous Tyne Bridge with several others, spanning across the beautiful River Tyne. This is a great photo spot, especially in the warmer months when the sun shines on the waters. You can also find a range of lovely restaurants down by the quayside to fill your boots. I recommend The Pitcher and Piano, which not only serves delicious food and some tasty cocktails but has a riverside view and sometimes live music.

Stay in some of the best hotels in Newcastle Quayside like the Malmaison Hotel; you will be right in the centre of everything. Crossing over our famous swinging bridge, The Millenium Bridge takes you directly to the neighbouring city of Gateshead. Here is home to the Baltic, a contemporary art museum and The Sage, a large music concert hall. During the warmer months, the Quayside homes a small man-made beach. This beach could be the perfect spot for entertaining families in Newcastle.

#2 Grey Street

Grey Street is another one of my favourite parts of Newcastle. This is mainly because it is home to our beautiful theatre which is more than 180 years old, The Theatre Royal. The Theatre Royal is home to some fantastic musicals, ballets, operas, pantomimes and plays. On special occasions, the theatre may offer some more unique events such as Street performances and decorating the theatre for special occasions.  Grey Street also has a mixed range of restaurants and cafes down here and this long stretched road leads directly down to the quayside.

One of my favourite cinemas is also located on this street, a small, cosy cinema called Everyman Cinema. While the cinema only plays a select few choices of movies per day, the atmosphere of the place is great. There is a small bar where you can have cocktails and food, which gives me an old-timey feeling. Inside the cinema room, you can order yourself the cutest Mason-jar filled candies and drinks and sit on super cosy sofas, while enjoying a more intimate viewing.

#3 Shopping around Toon

If you are looking for an opportunity to do some shopping, Newcastle has some perfect spots to shop to your heart’s delight no matter what your style. Dotted around the city centre there are plenty of stores, however, I would recommend shopping at larger facilities such as Eldon Square located in the city centre or the Metro Centre. As well as tons of clothes shops, the metro centre has an arcade for families, a large cinema and climbing facilities and often mini bungee jumping, if you are looking for nice activities to do with the family. Eldon Square has many cosmetic stores and clothes shops also and leads directly onto Northumberland Street. Here you can find outlets, more cafes, banks and fast food places.

#4 By the Coast

While not strictly classed as Newcastle, the Coastline is well worth the visit particularly in the warmer months if you like pretty views, places to walk and spot some local history. I recommend Tynemouth, which is a lovely town which has a great stretch of coast and Cullercoats, a slightly smaller beach not too far away. If you are non-driving, the best way to get to the coast is by metro train from the town. The routes are relatively simple and run often.

#5 It’s ancient history…

While Newcastle is a vibrant city, with lots of contemporary influences, a portion of Newcastle is protected, with listed buildings and historical sites. If you are into your history or architecture, Newcastle has some pretty old buildings and monuments which are still standing to this day. Take a guided tour walkthrough Victoria Tunnel, an Old transportation tunnel and aerial shelter, that is not for the claustrophobic and said to be haunted. Newcastle Castle and its  Castle Keep is another famous spot to go and see if you enjoy history. Newcastle is also home to the famous Ancient Roman Hadrian’s Wall and even has a museum, Segedunum showing remains of the wall and demonstrating the living conditions of the Ancient Roman Military.

#6 Kick-about at St James Park

If you are a football fanatic, you may wish to pay a visit to St James Park- home to 50,000 football fans of Newcastle United FC.   You are sure to feel the geordie spirit, if you come and attend a football match with these devoted fans, no matter the score. However, St James Park also is a venue for a range of functions such as concerts, wedding receptions and charity events. You can purchase guided tours here also, which lead you through the stadium. It is only a short walk into the city centre from St James Park also.

#7 Night out

Just like my previous posts about working in Ayia Napa, it is hard to talk about Newcastle without mentioning partying. Newcastle has a range of clubs and bars which cater for everybody’s taste in music and likes. On the Bigg Market, you can find reasonably priced clubs, with often cheesy pop music that is popular with students and old-schoolers alike. Or opt for the Diamond Strip, if you feel like getting dressed up and partying along with local celebrities. I recommend going to bars such as Jalou and Livello, for good drinks and great music. The Stack is also a really nice outdoor venue, with heaters and often hosting a range of music events. Similarly, if you are looking for a summer-vibe feel, Beach Box in Jesmond (another great social spot) offers a range of stalls and both good food and drink. There’s plenty of bars and clubs around the whole of the town, so you are never short of choice wherever you are, even if you would prefer a quiet drink.

Extra Reccomendations for Newcastle:

  • Angel of the North
  • Jesmond Dene Park
  • Discovery and Hanock Museums
  • The Life Centre Science Museum (Ice rink in the winter)

Nearby Newcastle:

  • Hexham
  • Alnwick Castle (Harry Potter Filming Location)
  • Beamish Museum, Durham
  • Cragside House, Rothbury

You can take the girl out of Newcastle, but never Newcastle out of the Girl”

-many Geordies.

Have you ever visited Newcastle? What do you like best about your town? Let me know down below in the comments.

As always, take care- Katie


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